Annually millions of Americans celebrate the "most wonderful time of year" with friends and family and holiday food such as baked delicacies are the guest of honor. Although it may be tempting to throw caution to the wind and go to town on the delights, it is wiser to chose nutritious foods, exercising and portion control in order to minimize holiday weight gain and to keep dental problems at bay. Additionally, incorporating foods flavored with popular spices can provide an additional boost to dental health.
Spices are the plant based aromatics and seasons that have helped build economies, trade routes and nations. Spices can make foods taste delicious, scent perfumes, heal wounds and improve dental health. Individuals looking to tap into the power of spices for the latter should know what spices are best for oral health.
English Renaissance dramatist Francis Beaumont once said “Nose, nose, jolly red nose, / And who gave thee this jolly red nose? . . . / Nutmegs and ginger, cinnamon and cloves, / And they gave me this jolly red nose,” thus ensuring that Christmas and cinnamon are forever linked. During the holiday season, the spice is used to flavor both sweet and savory food as well as various beverages and chewing gum and eating the spice can go a long way to combating tooth decay.
Cinnamon is an ancient spice referred to in the Hebrew Bible. Once upon a time, the spice was so valuable it was used as gifts to the royalty of the time. Now the spice is readily available world wide and is not only consumed for its taste but for the medicinal benefits as it has been found that essential cinnamon oil can lower levels of harmful oral bacteria in order to keep dental health in check.
Every human mouth is brimming with oral bacteria as those organisms are responsible for helping assist in the digestion process. When food is consume, trace elements of sugar are deposited on teeth and oral bacteria are the organisms that work to remove the stuff. As they feast on the trace elements of sucrose lingering behind, they will produce tooth enamel eroding acid as a by product. When left unchecked it is those acids that can cause dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. However consuming cinnamon can help keep the balance of oral bacteria in check and subsequently lower the odds of developing dental problems on teeth while acting as once of the best dental treatments for bad breath.
Nutmeg is a spice that is the seed of a species of evergreen tree called Myristica fragrans. The spice has a sweet and delicate flavor that is used in tons of recipes ranging from pickles to ham to baked goods. When the food is converted into essential oils, it is a powerhouse promoting dental health.
Nutmeg can be utilized to benefit dental care. Research on nutmeg has found that the spice is a natural way to lower stress levels and that can help individuals conquer their dental anxiety to visit the dentist. Nutmeg oil has also been found to reduce the pain associated with toothaches when applied directly to the inflamed area as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Clove is derived from the aromatic dried flower buds of the Myrtaceae tree and have been associated with Chirstmas for hundreds of years. The aromatic is used to create holiday crafts such as the infamous Orange Cloves Christmas ball and of course is considered to be an edible delight that has been used as a dental treatment for hundreds of years.
Cloves are rich in eugonol, a molecule that can kill bad oral bacteria (and leave the good intact) and is known for combating slews of dental problems. It is the natural make up of the spice that encouraged Avicenna, (Hippocrates mentor) to use clove oil to treat rotting teeth and gums during his lifetime. Proof exists that cloves were used during the 19th century to help root canals take.
Contemporary physicians still rely on cloves because of the medicinal benefits of the spice. Now, because of the extremely high antioxidant levels in clove, the food can reduce inflammation (common after oral surgery or in patients suffering from gum disease), prevent oral infections caused by swallowing oral bacterial loosed by dental treatments and can boost an overtaxed immune system.
Regardless on how you plan to spice things up this holiday season, preventative dentistry (involvingoral hygiene, dentist visits and making wise food choices) can help you smile into the New Year and beyond. Individuals looking for a great professional dental care expert can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to find a dentist.